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Pain Exists but It Is Not Real
Shyam: Hi, Mr. Swartz! I was appy to receive your reply . Thanks for your chart. It is very lucid.
You said something wonderful to me: “because you were never born.” I fully agree with you. But it is not an easy task to cognize it practically.
James: It’s as easy as you make it. Ask yourself, who dies? Yes, the body will die, but what about you? Shyam dies every night when he goes to sleep, but it is not a problem for you. You exist quite nicely when Shyam is not there. You enjoy bliss and limitlessness. This one – you – do not die.
Shyam: I know and believe that only “theoretically” as of now… but I don’t know how to grasp it “empirically” and retain it moment to moment, even though I understand that these moments don’t exist per se!
James: You’re right, a belief doesn’t help. You need to investigate your identity. You believe you are Shyam, a person with a body-mind. Is this true? Think about what you mean when you say “Shyam.” Is he actually somebody, a person? Or is Shyam just a name for consciousness?
Shyam: If I cut my finger, I feel the pain. Can I say pain does NOT exist? I know in the TRUE reality standpoint it does not. But from a mundane daily perspective, how can I deny it? Even if we do deny pain, we can’t deny hunger and thirst.
James: It is not a matter of denial. Pain, hunger and thirst certainly exist, but they are not real, meaning they do not last. These things are mithya, apparently real. Actually YOU don’t feel the pain, you observe the feeling of pain. Pain is a sensation that happens in the body and mind.
Shyam: I can theoretically negate these in my mind and understand that the Soul is One in ALL, so nobody is actually ever born, but how can I live that in day-to-day life? Any thoughts/tips ?
James: When a desire or a fear comes up, don’t act on it. Know that it is born of ignorance and remain as you are, the witness of it. This will kill the desires and fears, the mind will eventually become peaceful and you will see yourself shining in it. Then you will be convinced that you are unborn awareness.
Obviously, some desires are necessary for the maintenance of the body. Those you should act out. But the unnecessary, gratuitious desires that spring from a sense of inadequacy and incompleteness should not be acted out, because doing so means that you accept yourself as a limited, inadequate, mortal being.